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Chicago Bulls expose Pistons’ most glaring deficiencies in loss

Early in the fourth quarter with the Pistons down by 14 points, Will Bynum grabbed a loose ball and beat Chicago downcourt for a layup. Chicago immediately in-bounded the ball and Derrick Rose found Taj Gibson behind the defense for a dunk.

Lawrence Frank immediately called timeout, turned bright red and stormed away from Detroit’s bench in disgust.

The play obviously wasn’t a significant one in the game, but it represented the most stark contrast between this year’s team and last year’s. How many times last season did we see lazy defensive plays like that in games the Pistons were losing by double figures in? How many times after those plays did cameras pan to an apathetic John Kuester blankly staring off into space?

I’m sure Kuester was upset in those instances. I’m sure any coach who cares about players respecting the game would be upset. I’m under no illusion that Frank is some type of miracle worker. His task is a daunting one. Like his predecessors, Kuester and Michael Curry, his rhetoric before the season was good. Unlike his predecessors, he at the very least seems to be delivering a message of what is acceptable basketball and what isn’t.

The Pistons lost big to Chicago and were never really in the game. The Bulls didn’t play their best, particularly early on when Joakim Noah was inexplicably waving teammates away to that he could take his man off the dribble and air-balling 18-footers. But the Pistons combined a poor effort shooting from the perimeter with difficulty converting some of the clean looks around the basket Chicago gave early, sprinkled in some poor shot selection and quickly stalled a couple late mini-runs with sloppy passing and turnovers. Detroit has proven early in the season they will play hard and are capable of competing with good teams. They have to be near flawless to do it though, and the Pistons were far from it.

The team has been blown out by good teams plenty over the last two seasons. There wasn’t much positive to take away from this game, but I still can’t deny that I feel much more positive about the direction the team is heading than I did after the first two games of the season.

Moose out-plays Noah

There are still a few areas where Greg Monroe struggles, but those are becoming less noticeable by the game. Monroe finished with 19 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists and a block against Chicago. He would’ve been near a triple double if his teammates didn’t shoot 41 percent (including 16 percent from 3-point range). He was solid on defense early, starting the game on Carlos Boozer and holding him to 2-for-6 shooting in the first quarter. Boozer got it going later and led all scorers with 19, but by then, the entire defense had been broken down to account for Derrick Rose’s slashing and others were guarding Boozer.

Offensively, he scored out of the post. He faced up and put the ball on the floor — including one really nice blow-by and layup with Noah, a good one-on-one defender, guarding him. He looked for cutters, he found open shooters on the perimeter and he still did what he always does, crashed the offensive glass, collecting five offensive rebounds.

He matched the activity of the notoriously active Noah, who finished with 9 points and 11 rebounds (but also turned it over five times because Noah was a little too active on offense). After a rookie season where Monroe showed remarkable improvement on a game-to-game basis, I shouldn’t be surprised that he’s continued that upward trend this year. I keep expecting him to plateau at some point and he keeps getting better.

Brandon Knight is overmatched

Knight got his first look as the top point guard at the start of the second half. Rodney Stuckey injured his groin late in the first half, so Knight started the third quarter. His performance wasn’t pretty.

There was a great sequence in that third with Rose guarding Knight and Knight trying to get into the lane to try and get off his floater. Rose wouldn’t let him get where he wanted and forced Knight into an awkward 16-foot or so floater that ended up about two feet short of the rim. I think anyone watching would look at a floater — a notoriously hard shot to perfect outside of close range — from that far out as a crazy shot that no one should work on adding to their repertoire. Then a couple possessions later, we saw why Knight, and presumably a lot of young guards of all ages, work on that shot: Rose launched a floater from about the same spot on floor, only his was on target. So thanks, Derrick Rose, for teaching a generation of guards to take a shot that only a once-in-a-lifetime type athlete can hit.

Knight is a 20-year-old rookie and was matched up against the league MVP and one of the strongest guards in the league, so no one should’ve been expecting him to get the best of that matchup. He finished with 4 points on 2-for-9 shooting with 1 assist and 1 turnover. He had a couple of nice possessions where he got in the lane and got himself good shots that he was comfortable with. He also missed two open 3-pointers, shots that will presumably be more consistent for him as time goes on. Knight is an exciting, talented young player, but the Pistons still need Stuckey in the lineup.

Let’s slow it down, Will Bynum

As Frank said earlier this week, the Bynum is a nice insurance policy on the bench. With Stuckey hurt, the Pistons needed an extra point guard. But as was the case so many times the last two seasons with Bynum’s role/minutes fluctuating so drastically, he came off the bench like a bat out of hell in only the third game he’s made it into this season. Bynum’s biggest problem was a familiar one: his passing. Twice in the fourth quarter, he was running pick and roll plays with Jonas Jerebko. Bynum used the screen, Jerebko slid to the top of the key where he had an open jumper and Bynum delivered bounce passes back to Jerebko … about three feet wider than where Jerebko was spotting up. Those plays didn’t result in turnovers, but they also took away any chance for the Pistons to score as Jerebko had to scramble to coral the ball. Bynum also turned it over three times, two of which resulted in him getting caught in the air with no one to pass to.

The thing is, though, Bynum actually scored the ball efficiently, something the Pistons could really use off their bench. Stuckey, Knight and Ben Gordon all struggled with their shots. None had much success taking the ball straight at the defense. Bynum, always fearless in that regard, scored 10 quick points on 5-for-9 shooting and, despite a huge height difference between he and Rose, didn’t do too badly defensively. Maybe the problem is the Pistons need to simply stop thinking about Bynum as the third point guard. He’s probably not a player who there is a use for in every game, but there certainly has to be instances when his main skills, getting the basket and speeding up the game, can come in handy. The Pistons don’t have anyone else on their bench giving any kind of offensive punch, so it might come to that at some point.

Gordon was too small

Gordon’s final stats were ugly, and the Gordon detractors, I’m sure, will be out en masse after this performance. He was bad, and I wouldn’t say otherwise, but it’s somewhat understandable given his limitations as a player.

First, he always has pressed against Chicago, his former team. But more importantly, he’s just way too small compared to Chicago’s guards. He was guarded at different times by tall SGs Rip Hamilton and Ronnie Brewer. When he tried to create off the dribble, another lanky defender, Luol Deng, or a big point guard, Rose, were there to give help.

Gordon is a wildly streaky player and has been throughout his career. I expect that he’ll have more games like this during the season, but I also expect him to have more great offensive performances as well. He’s not a difficult player for good defensive teams to stop, so that will pose a problem for the Pistons all season.

Damien Wilkins cementing his spot in the rotation

Other than Monroe, the best Piston on the floor was Wilkins. Since moving into the rotation as a backup wing in place of the ineffective Austin Daye, Wilkins has made hustle plays and been solid defensively. Against Chicago, he added some offense, scoring 10 points (5-for-7 shooting) with 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Daye’s biggest asset to get back into the rotation is the fact that his skillset is shooting and the second unit has had virtually no offense. If Wilkins gives some hustle points along with his superior defense, it’s going to be even harder to for Daye to get his spot back.

Thankfully for Daye, Charlie Villanueva played five more horrible minutes. Beating out Villanueva might be Daye’s best chance to earn back some minutes.


  • Jan 4, 201210:39 pm
    by ryan


    Good effort by Moose in a game we had to expect to lose. Not surprised to see Ben Gordon come up small.

  • Jan 4, 201210:45 pm
    by frankie d


    what about ben gordon’s brutal game?
    what about tay’s brutal game?
    both of those guys played around 30 minutes and did nothing.
    in fact, both hurt the cause.  
    tay is obviously limping around and he cannot extend his defense outside of the area right near the lane and just beyond.  when the pistons attempted to trap late in the game, his man was always open as an outlet because tay couldn’t come out and guard him.
    gordon had a brutal few minutes in the 4th quarter when bynum looked like he might spark a comeback.
    he threw the ball away, missed his only shots, and committed a flagrant foul that ended whatever chance detroit may have had to steal a game.
    these clowns can stay out on the court, but daye can’t get a decent shot?

    • Jan 4, 201210:57 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      Hold your horses man, it said ‘Check back for updates.’

      Gordon was terrible, but honestly, he’ll always be terrible against big, defensive-minded backcourts.

      Prince shot poorly, but there’s no point in questioning his minutes since he’s guaranteed 30ish a game no matter who the coach is for some reason.

      Also, Villanueva’s five first half minutes were unwatchable. Villanueva comes in, Boozer backs him down for easy shots twice in a row. Boozer wasn’t having a good game until V started guarding him, then he got it going.

      • Jan 4, 201211:56 pm
        by Andre


        Gordon has a mental block against Chicago for some reason, but I disagree about his size making a difference in his scoring.  I’ve watched BG through his career torch defensive minded back court like Boston, Miami and Detroit, so I don’t think it matters.

        • Jan 4, 201211:58 pm
          by Patrick Hayes


          I didn’t say he couldn’t do it on occasion. I’m just saying that it is unreasonable to expect it. Good defensive teams have off nights, etc. But overall, Gordon has trouble against big, physical guards. That’s usually who his worst shooting games are against.

  • Jan 4, 201211:20 pm
    by frankie d


    your updated post was right on target. on gordon..your critique spells out why he should be a bench guard and not a starter.
    if stuckey is hurt, clearly the thing to do is start knight and daye, with gordon and bynum coming off the bench.
    radical? yes.
    but it makes sense under the circumstances.
    btw, who would have thought that the team might miss stuckey as point guard?

    • Jan 4, 201211:35 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      Haha … ‘miss’ is a relative term. He’s just the best they have right now. Really hope Knight changes that by the end of the season.

      • Jan 5, 201212:12 am
        by Andre


        I don’t see knight getting better if he can’t get the playing time he need.  The Pistons need Stuckey, but I just don’t see how he is the starting PG for the Detroit Pistons.  I don’t know if you notice but riding the bench seem to be killing BK game, and for what a guy who is always trying to get his shot. Stuckey has been on this team for four years and I have not seen any real improvement in his game.

  • Jan 5, 201212:01 am
    by ryan


    I’m glad that Brandon Knight was out there taking his lumps it’s good for a guy like him who’s strong willed and a gym rat. He’s never going to have what Derrick Rose has athletically but he can be a very good player in his own right.

  • Jan 5, 20121:44 am
    by Sebastian


    Three-Way Sixers, Grizzlies, Hornets Trade Official
    Other teams are making deals, while WE trot out the same inferior group of players.

    How does Joe expect OUR squad to compete with a cast of insufficient players for the remaining, compressed 60 games?

    Do something Joe! Here are a few suggestions:

    1- Move Maxey and the rights to Kyle Singler to the Rockets for Terrence Williams Thabeet.

    2- Move Austin Daye and OUR 2012 1st round pick to the Wizards for JaVele McGee.

    3- Move Ben G. to T-wolves for Michael Beasley.

    See the proposed trade – http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=795lhl8

    Then WE roll with the following line-up:

    PG- Knight/Will B.
    SG- T. Wlliams/Stuckey*
    SF- Michael Beasley/Jerebko**/Tay***
    PF- Monroe/Charlie V.
    C- JaVele McGee/Thabeet/Big Ben/Macklin

    *Stuckey will now become the 6th man. He can relieve Knight and Nick Young. He can now become an unshackled big guard, who will have the green light to play aggressively.

    **Jerebko can become a key role player off of the bench, providing minutes at the “3″ and “4″.

    ***Place Tay on the IR, so that by trade deadline, he will be of some value to a contender.

    Note: the above roster is a much better defense team that would be better able to execute the defensive principles Franks is trying to coach.

    Bottom line, Joe has got to do something with this current roster, because there isn’t any way in Hell this team is going to last through the remaining 60 games.

    • Jan 5, 20129:53 am
      by gmehl1977


      Sebastian you better hope and pray Laser doesn’t read this post. Your 1st trade proposal would have a slight chance of happening. The second proposal the pistons would be mad to do. Are you serious with the 3rd proposal man? I mean seriously buddy i don’t think even Kahn is that mad.

      • Jan 5, 201211:49 am
        by Laser


        I read it, but life is too short to address this kind of rubbish. Ditto what G said.

    • Jan 5, 20125:30 pm
      by BIG MARV


      sabastian I tell you one thing you must play alot of nba 2k cause the trade movies are rediculious I roll with for the first 2 but why in the hell would Khan trade Beasley for BG? unless hes ready to lose his job BG is a wash up

  • Jan 5, 20122:30 am
    by Laser


    I spent the evening with Laserette and DVR’ed the game. Should I even bother watching it?

    • Jan 5, 20124:10 am
      by DVS


      If you’d like to see exactly what the Pistons need to work on then yes. It was clearly highlighted for everyone to see.
      But on a positive note, Moose had a good game, so i guess thats worth watching.. ??

      • Jan 5, 201211:51 am
        by Laser


        I know what they need to work on. I’ve known for like three-plus seasons. That’s why I asked, because if all this game’s going to do is reinforce what I’ve been screaming for ages, I won’t bother.

    • Jan 5, 20126:52 am
      by gmehl1977


      You know your gonna watch it. Its when someone breaks there leg and they show the replay. You know you will be disgusted by it but you watch it anyways. Man i think the worst play of the night was CV’s 1st 2 seconds on the court. If you slow down the replay and zoom in at Boozers face you will see his eyes light up like overcoat buttons as he seals CV for a quick 2pts. At the start of the season i was pulling for Joe to amnesty BG but i am thinking CV might be the wiser choice unless he turns things around. I know he hasn’t played much but with the way Frank is instilling a defence identity into this team i think CV is a lame duck. I was going to say dead man walking but that would be too energetic for him.

      • Jan 5, 20128:33 am
        by Steve K


        Good point about CV.

        His career is sorta in jeopardy. It’s possible his offense will heat up, but it doesn’t appear like that’s going to happen soon. He’s out of the rotation on a lottery team desperate for big men! 

        With his bloated contract, no other team will want him. So he’s stuck.
        If he doesn’t get in game shape and start playing with the effort of Maxiell and Big Ben, he’s gonna continue to ride the pine. Good on Frank for at least forcing some accountability.

        I don’t think there’s any debate that CV is now the prime candidate for amnesty next summer. A lot can change, but these first six games do not help him one bit.

        As for Laser’s query about whether to watch or not to watch…
        Don’t watch. This game won’t reveal much… unless you want to see Rip Hamilton burying shots in another uniform. Or Derrick Rose tearing apart the Piston guards… and Brandon Knight looking like a rookie.

      • Jan 5, 201211:56 am
        by Laser


        1) It’s not a given that I’ll watch it just because I taped it. I’d say I probably end up watching maybe half the games I tape and find out the result of. This sounds like a “skip” to me.
        2) BG is still the amnesty option, unless we can trade him “with cash considerations” for something useful. Gordon is suffocating our cap, and his presence in the lineup keeps Bynum rotting on the bench. Charlie doesn’t keep anybody useful out of the rotation, and the team insists he has trade value. There are much worse contracts out there, as long as he shows a fucking pulse once in a while. Though now I’m starting to wonder a little.
        This whole thing just makes me want to stuff Joe D in a burlap sack and drown him in a river.

        • Jan 5, 20123:05 pm
          by frankie d


          i’ve always thought that CV should be the player amnestied.
          gordon, despite the fact that he is horribly overpaid, can still be a valuable player, if used correctly.
          CV, on the other hand, has precious little value, outside of his ability to get hot every blue moon and toss in jumpers from 3 points.
          i’ve always viewed the rumors about him having trade value as so much bunk.
          if he has trade value and if someone wants him my guess is that he’d already be gone.
          but, after watching gordon play this season, i’m rethinking things.
          we’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly of gordon, and the good simply doesn’t outweigh the bad and the ugly.
          and the money he’s going to be paid the next 3 years is obscene, considering his contributions, even when he plays well.
          i cannot see how he is any better than a guy like cleveland’s boobie gibson, who has better numbers and makes 1/3 his salary. 
          i’d still rather tolerate gordon, i think, rather than CV, but the more i see gordon play well, the less impressed i am.

          • Jan 5, 20123:10 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            I don’t like Gordon’s game, but I rarely look at him and question his effort. He plays pretty hard, there are just a handful of things (dribble, defend, move laterally, etc.) that he physically can’t do very well.

            Villanueva, on the other hand, is a limited player who combines that with looking about as effortless and sloppy on the court as any player in the league.

            Gordon’s contract is far worse, but I have to admit, I’d much rather watch him play than Villanueva.

          • Jan 5, 20123:43 pm
            by frankie d

            the thing about gordon is that he seems like such an intelligent guy.  he’s very articulate and he just seems like a guy who should play smarter than he does. 
            but he gets on the court and often plays like the worst knucklehead just out of college.
            for a guy who seems so smart, his decision-making is often horrendous.  and after, what 6…7 years in the league, you’d imagine he’s just stop having those brain cramps on the court.
            yes, he does play hard and he has a place on a good team, but i’d try to limit his handling of the ball as much as possible.  too often bad things happen when he does.

          • Jan 5, 20124:32 pm
            by Laser

            Well, we certainly have two prime amnesty candidates here. It’s worth discussing…
            Gordon is the better player of the two, but his contract is a cap killer, he plays a position where talent is plentiful and cheap, and he’s terribly redundant on this roster.
            Charlie is the worst player in the league, but he has a special skillset at a position where talent is relatively scarce, and his contract isn’t prohibitively bad.
            Frankly, the solution is probably to amnesty Gordon and dump Charlie in some kind of trade for a less skilled, more reliable player. Thing is, now that Rip is stuck on the books for this season and next at $5.5 mil, I don’t even know what the point is in working to clear cap space before that burden is gone. We’re not likely to lure any free agents here or anything. God what a mess. We’re just going to have to look at this fucking atrocity over and over and over and over and over. And you can bet your ass Dumars is going to do some other stupid shit to fuck up our cap space further beyond that point.

          • Jan 5, 20126:05 pm
            by tarsier

            Are you serious Laser? You think talent is scarce at the PF? Griffin, Love, Dirk, Pau, ZBo, Aldridge, Smoove, Amare, Bosh, Garnett, Duncan, Brand, Boozer, Millsap, West. There is nobody in the top 15 who doesn’t at least have an outside shot at an all-star/all-NBA spot. PF is easily the deepest position in the league. And it is the position with the second most talent behind PG (which is a bit more top-heavy talent-wise). And I’m not even counting players who mostly play C but who fans claim are really PFs like Horford. As for CV having a rae skillset for his position, there are a ton of PFs who can stroke it from deep better than Charlie (which is his only skill). They might not be as known as 3 point shooters because they have other talents that supercede their long range bombing abilities. But there is nothing special/rare/desirable about Villanueva. I used to be all for amnestying a SG because they were clogging up the rotation. Now not so much. The rotation has been cleared up a lot. There aren’t enough minutes for Bynum without an injury. But injuries happen regularly. And Bynum is a player with very little upside. I love his play and think he deserves more minutes. But if taking those away is the price to get rid of Charlie instead of Gordon, so be it. Gordon is playing well enough right now to be dealt for a valueless expiring deal. And even if undealt, he only costs $5M/yr more than CV. The only reason to amnesty him would be if there is a specific plan targeted for the cap space his removal would create that $5M less couldn’t work for.

            But if Prince is playing poorly, Daye has got to get more minutes. That is the only way he will build up any value.

          • Jan 5, 20128:55 pm
            by Laser

            If PF is such a damn deep position, how come our team has NOTHING to speak of at PF?
            My point is that big men and PGs are the creamiest positions of the crop, while wing players are a dime a dozen if they’re not in the upper echelon. Shooting guards are like f’ing candy corn, and you shouldn’t have to pay one more than $5-6 mil a year unless they’re legitimate All-Star candidates. Right now we’re paying Rip the amount of money we should invest in a starting SG ($5.5 mil). Paying a SG eight figures should be a crime if he’s not a perennial All-Star LOCK.
            There may be a number of PFs who can shoot it the way CV can (though when he’s in a zone, rare as it may be, he’s certainly one of the best near-7-foot shooters), but when you weigh Gordon’s strengths and weaknesses, he’s basically average at his position and paid like a franchise cornerstone. At $8 mil a year, teams could do worse than have CV on the bench as an option for offensive punch on the rare nights when he’s on. Take a team like Golden State, who don’t play defense anyways and are paying Andris Biedrins $9 mil to be basically useless, may as well take a chance that once in a while he’ll spread the floor and give them a lift. Though that’s the only trade partner I can think of off the top of my head.

  • Jan 5, 201211:22 am
    by Gregoire


    @ Sebastian…no way Joe D. will do your proposed trades…why should he have paid 8 mio for a 6th man and 6,5 mio for a Veteran who doesn´t even have playing time in your Rotation??? Sure Joe D. has to do something but certainly not accuiering Thabeet or Beasley…There´s no way the Pistons should Trade their 2012 first-rounder, instead I think they should try to accuire a second one in a trade for Austin Daye for example…even if its a Pic low in the lottery it would be nice with all the opportunities to then trade up or down just like the Bobcats did last year…DeMarcus Cousins would´ve been a nice fit I think but thats of the table…

  • Jan 5, 20123:23 pm
    by frankie d


    wilkins is wilkins.  he will play the way he’s played his entire career.
    hustle, play good defense and every once in a while, have a good shooting game. that is what he does.
    he’s a career 42% shooter who had his best shooting year when he took his fewest shots – less than 3 a game – and his worst shooting year, when he took the most shots in his career – 40% for 9 shots a game.  he is what he is.
    he is another in the long line of scrubs who prevent the development of young players.
    the same thing happened with t-mac last year.
    i warned about the exact same thing.
    t-mac would be here, stay a year, take up playing time, maybe help win a few games because he’d be able to summon up his once formidable skills, and then move on to greener pastures.
    and in the meantime, young pistons, namely austin daye, would not be given a true shot at playing time and in another year, the same questions about daye would be present.
    that is exactly what is happening.
    wilkins is doing the same thing.  or rather, frank is doing the same thing with wilkins.
    and if things keep going the way they are going, the team will be in the same situation with daye next year.
    how much better off would the team be if it had given t-mac’s minutes to daye, let him succeed or fail?
    would the team have been any worse, in the long term? 
    it makes no sense.
    where will wilkins be in two years?    he’ll be 34 years, close to retirement and most likely someplace else.
    daye in two years?  we don’t know, other than that he will be 25 and will be entering the prime of his career, whatever that will be.  it should be a priority for the team to figure out  how valuable this asset is, what kind of player they have.  so far they don’t seem to be too concerned.

    • Jan 5, 20123:44 pm
      by Steve K


      Man, I wouldn’t be too upset.

      If Daye can’t beat out Wilkins, it’s his own fault. It’s on Austin Daye to prove he’s got what it takes to earn minutes. Both he and Knight were given minutes in the first few games. Knight made mistakes but also gave relentless effort. AND he made some sweet shots. Daye did neither… except in garbage time in Boston.

      I honestly don’t blame Frank for not developing talent. I think he’s doing a good job working Knight in, and he’s building much of the offense around Monroe. 

      I’ll be honest, I wasn’t too happy about the Frank hire at first. But I like what I’ve seen so far.

      As for the T-Mac situation… well, you’re exactly right. That made no sense. And the fact that Joe couldn’t at least get a 2nd rounder for T-Mac at the deadline irked me beyond belief.

      • Jan 5, 20124:09 pm
        by frankie d


        what did maxiell do the first few games?
        absolutely zero.
        but he still got put back on the court to get his minutes.
        he’s supposed to be a rebounder and defender, but daye was outrebounding him, 12-5, while scoring many more points.
        so why wasn’t max sat down, if it was about supposedly “earning” minutes.
        and i guess last year, t-mac “earned” his regular season rotation spot, despite not playing in the preseason?
        if you think that players on the pistons have been given PT the last few years based on “earning” the minutes, then you haven’t been paying attention.
        i guess being the team’s leading scorer in its preseason while putting up solid all around numbers means nothing.
        of course, that doesn’t go towrds “earning” playing time.
        the idea that daye got a legit shot this year is ridiculous.  
        yes, he had a bad two games, but he was the leading scorer off the bench against boston. and as noted, was outrebounding guys who are supposed to be doing the heavy rebounding.
        and if you want to disregard pistons’ players stats in “garbage time” then most of the players’ stats are tainted.
        then, after seeming to break out of his shooting slump, he misses 3 shots in 5 minutes against indiana and is benched.
        this is simply a repeat of what has happened time after time with pistons’ young players.   a big reason the team is in the condition it is in.

        • Jan 5, 20124:31 pm
          by Steve K


          Hey, I’m not sure how Maxiell applies, but I agree with you. He didn’t do anything the first few games. He’s looked okay recently, but I wouldn’t mind seeing what Macklin can provide.

          And I make absolutely no claim that players PT was based on performance during the Curry and Kuester years. Their rotations were inconsistent, baffling, and enough to drive most of us to vent on this board before the game ended.

          Frank appears to be different.

          Was Daye given a short leash? Sure. But it’s not like he’s an All-star who deserves carte-blanche. He just hasn’t delivered on a consistent basis. Of course, neither has Wilkins, but Wilkins has meshed better with his teammates during the first six games. 

          I’m sure Daye will be given an opportunity to redeem himself soon enough. And, for what it’s worth, I hope he succeeds. As I’ve stated in prior posts, he, more than anyone, needs guards who know what they are doing. In the first few games, neither Stuckey nor Knight had much idea how to run the offense. They dumped the ball to Daye in spots that forced him to put the ball on the floor. Daye will fare better when Knight and Stuckey familiarize themselves better with the flow of the offense. Give Daye the chance to catch-and-shoot… or post-up. Or in an iso.

          • Jan 5, 20125:15 pm
            by frankie d

            maxiell applies cause he played even worse than daye for the same stretch.  but he kept getting his minutes and he has played his way out of his slump.
            that is how it works.
            guys cannot get out of slumps by sitting on a bench.
            but frank is similar to all nba coaches – except for jerry sloan – because they will alway trot out a tired, predictable vet rather than give a young guy a shot.
            if anyone should have been glued to a bench after 2 games it should have been maxiell.

    • Jan 5, 20124:13 pm
      by Max


      Are you in Daye’s entourage or something?   Do you owe him money?
      As I remember, though I was annoyed when Curry started, especially because he had sixth man Corliss Williamson behind him which meant Prince got no minutes his rookie year, starting Michael Curry worked out fairly well in 2003 to judge by the evidence.  While I and others might have been complaining that Prince was out of rotation, he was brought into the rotation during the playoffs and turned into the key ingredient for wins over Orl and Philly in the playoffs so the sit a player till he deserves the minutes or the team needs the player worked in that case and provided the Pistons the momentum to achieve their first of 6 conference finals appearances.   You can argue that Prince’s development was rather hurt than helped by not getting initial minutes but the proof is in the pudding.
      The bottom line is that I care about the development of the Pistons a trillion times more than I do the development of an individual player or asset.  While you may say the development of a team and its players is the same thing, I rather think there is a very big difference between developing team chemistry and a winning culture and developing young talent and I don’t think the former ought to be sacrificed for the latter.    While it may be optimal ff the latter can seamlessly occur to the extent that it would seem natural that the rookie or young player is getting minutes; if the project feels forced and the player is getting minutes ahead of a player who is obviously better and more effective, than the entire development of team chemistry and accountability is threatened.  I have never believed players should be gifted minutes and I never will.

      • Jan 5, 20124:59 pm
        by frankie d


        that whole developing team chemistry thing worked out real well last year when they brought in a guy like t-mac and sat the younger players.
        if you don’t think playes should be “gifted” minutes, then surely you objected when he was inserted into the rotation without playing at all during the preseason?
        yea, that was wonderful team chemistry and team culture last year.
        providing young players a reasonable opportunity to play and develop is what good organizations do.
        it is what a franchise like san antonio does seamlessly, which is why they have continued to have a solid team, even while they maintain their core players and build around them with younger players.
        they have continued to bring in young players and win because they understand the need to give young player a chance to play and develop.
        yes, the proof is in the pudding here.  
        young players like afflalo and amir johnson and carlos delfino and  even darko provide a lot of the defense and solid role playing this team now needs, for other teams.  too bad they rusted on the bench here and were deemed expendable while old vets played minutes those young players somehow could never “earn” no matter how hard they played and/or practiced.
        btw that post is the most incomprehensible crock of nonsense since the last stuff you wrote.  i would suggest reading someone like raymond carver or hemingway in order to learn how to write short, succinct, clear sentences.  try writing declarative sentences.  that might help.   this stuff is ridiculous.  geez…
        also, it is beyond argument that the development of the team depends on the development of individual players and if you cannot see the undeniable logic of that, there is no hope.  

  • Jan 5, 20123:34 pm
    by lk#1


    Austin is not as talented as we hoped if he’s losing playing time to Wilkins.

    • Jan 5, 20123:51 pm
      by frankie d


      i have no idea how you can make such a statement.
      his talent level has nothing to do with wilkins playing time.
      a coach’s decision may or may not be based on a player’s talent level.
      imho, no one knows what kind of nba player he will be.

      • Jan 5, 20124:58 pm
        by Sebastian


        frankied, there is no defending Daye. He is a scrub.

        • Jan 5, 20125:11 pm
          by frankie d


          maybe he is.  but the fact is, the team really doesn’t know.
          unfortunately, i read the same thing about amir johnson.
          for years.  the exact same criticisms.
          now?  he is starting at center for a toronto team that is playing very good defense.  
          the same things were said about afflalo.
          now?  afflalo is recognized as one of the best young all around guards in the league.
          the difference?  they are getting steady playing time.
          my point is very simple.  play daye, give him a shot for a legitimate period of time – 15-20 games or so – and see what happens.  if he is a scrub, it will be obvious.  if he isn’t, then the team benefits.
          the idea that playing wilkins benefits the team is ridiculous.  
          t-mac all over again.

          • Jan 6, 201210:18 am
            by sebastian

            frankied, I respect the hell of your opinions, observations, and analysis, but Austin Daye is 6’11″ and weighs 200 pounds. Heck, even the Russian team that he played for over the summer could see that he is skinny as hell, which hinders every expect of his game, and sent him home.
            Maybe send the guy down to the D-League so that he can become a D-League All-Star or something. But, the NBA or any International League has proven to be to advance for kid from Irvine, California.

  • Jan 5, 20125:17 pm
    by Max


    Steve K makes a great point that Frank does seem to be building the offense around Monroe.  This is a big shift in emphasis, Monroe didn’t even have plays run for him last year and continuity is an issue.  While Tayshaun hasn’t been putting up big numbers he has made a lot of glue plays going against the ball stopper criticism he has garnered lately as he has been moving the ball briskly—he annoyed me last night when he reward Jerebko’s failed hustle play with a shrug indicating Jerebko’s fault.  Tay obviously needs the PT, but where exactly does Wilkins fit in?
    Well, at one point last night the announcers were saying he was playing like the Pistons second best player and they weren’t far off.  Wilkins supplies a percentage, a proportion of the lineup that is veteran and feels comfortable out there.  This is also the case with Maxiell.  You want the young guys to play, but do you want five of them on the floor at the same time?–do you want four?–do you even want to play a lot of minutes with three players on the floor at the same time who are all under 24?  Daye suffers not only from the task of having to beat out more effective players but also from the lack of veterans he could possibly share the floor with, but as this is also true of the other young players, you have to ask yourself if sharing the floor with a pro like Wilkins, who leads by example in terms if knowing how to operate as an NBA pro, is good for the other young players during their time on the floor.
    Let me construct two separate depth charts for the Pistons
    Veterans in order how good they are (obviously subjective)
    Tayshaun Prince
    Ben Gordon
    Ben Wallace
    Will Bynum
    Damien Wilkins
    Jason Maxiell
    Charlie V  ——— so far
    Young Players in order of how good they are combined with their potential (obviously subjective)
    Greg Monroe
    Rodney Stuckey
    Brandon Knight
    Jonas Jerebko
    Austin Daye
    Vernon Macklin
    I ranked Wilkins and Daye 5th on both lists.  Now, again, the problem for Daye is that when you look at the two lists, you’ll notice that the youth list has three or four out the top five getting starters minutes, depending on Knight, while the veteran list has only two or three depending on Big Ben.  As Knight figures to receive increasing minutes, the youth proportion of minutes can only become larger.
    Daye has and will continue to get his chances, but this beating of the drum against Wilkins is both unfair to him and to Frank.  The Pistons are going to need some veteran balance as they did last night when Wilkins tangibly helped the squad and doesn’t deserve to be berated for it.  It will probably wind up being something of a platoon as to that back SF anyway and Daye has got to figure out how to be effective at multiple positions to best contribute and earn himself minutes.

    • Jan 5, 20125:30 pm
      by frankie d


      posters said the exact same things about t-mac last year.
      of course vets are going to be more consistent and possibly better than younger players.  
      but younger players may have a higher ceiling than a limited vet who may provide a certain stability and certainty.
      where is t-mac today?
      has the team chemistry and development been advanced as a result of all of the minutes he played last year?
      where will wilkins be in two years?
      after he has left – possibly after this one year – how will the team have benefitted?
      playing scrub vets, at the expense of younger players who need to develop is a trap bad franchises fall into.

      • Jan 5, 20126:50 pm
        by Dan Feldman


        To give one example, I think Greg Monroe developed greatly because of McGrady. McGrady’s passing gave Monroe a huge boost in his offensive development that he wouldn’t have received if those minutes went to Austin Daye.

      • Jan 5, 201211:27 pm
        by Steve K


        Frankie D, I don’t think anyone disagrees that it would be nice to see Daye get some minutes. It’s just pretty unfair to take it out on Wilkins and his meager 13.4 average minutes.

        Frank has to find the balance between developing talent and winning.
        I may be in the minority here, but I’d say it was pretty important for team morale that the Pistons not start 0-10 out of the gate. They need to avoid being historically bad, and they were on that path after the first three blow-out losses.

        Wilkins isn’t solely responsible for the 2 wins, but he helped.

        Nobody expects the Pistons to be anything but a lottery team, so I’m certain Daye will find himself on the floor very soon.

  • Jan 5, 20125:21 pm
    by BIG MARV


    Hmmmm hey Laser u thought will bynum wasnt a insurance policy? I think you better eat your words now buddy because that policy will be kicking in this weekend due to stuckeys injury Hell even Frank said it.

  • Jan 5, 20128:17 pm
    by frankie d


    mcgrady wasnt the only nba player who knew how to pass. there were few on the pistons, yes, but i have long argued for the team to go out and get a young guard with those skills. the team would be much better today if joe had done so, rather than depending on an old retread who left the minute he could. this team has lacked real playmakers for so long that when t-mac ran a decent pick and roll it looked miraculous.
    it isn’t.ii
    and the team still needs such a player, as became obvious when stuckey went down last night.
    also, while t-mac is obviously very good on the pick and roll, monroe’s passing would have opened up lots of shots for daye.
    bottom line is that we don’t know how well the two of them would mesh as we have not seen them play together that much. considering that they were first round choices and two of the team’s core players one would think that it would be a priority.

  • Jan 5, 20129:13 pm
    by Laser


    Yeah I just noticed this about Daye. We’ve got a team option on him for $3 mil next season. Right now it’s looking like a pretty easy “pass” to me. It’s a real problem with the lack of development he’s had.
    I know they say, “You gotta EARN that P.T., son, you gotta EARNN it. You can’t go gifting minutes to some kid or it’ll shake his confidence!” But look what happened here: The kid is OBVIOUSLY a project from day one. He comes into a system where nobody has defined roles or minutes and the rotation is a fluctuating mess. He’s obviously as raw as it gets and prone to mistakes, but he can’t even get extended minutes when everybody goes down with injuries. Next season they start him out of position and his roles and minutes are ALL OVER THE PLACE. He’s in and out of the rotation on the most overcrowded perimeter in NBA history, competing for minutes against the likes of Tayshaun Prince and Tracy McGrady. Then this season, three games into the year he gets yanked from the rotation because Damien Wilkins gives the team a better chance of winning (like 1% instead of 0.85% on any given night). So the end result is that because he needed to EARN his way for these 2 seasons and counting under VERY difficult and unstable circumstances, we have a third year player with WAY less confidence than if we’d just thrown him into the fire as a rookie. Hell, if we’d done that in the first place, at least he could take his lumps and shake them off because he’s only a rookie. Now he’s been in the league for a minute and he’s barely gotten his feet wet, so he has a WELL EARNED lack of confidence and very little in the way of excuses.
    This is similar to the line of bullshit they like to feed us about Stuckey, since he’s had so many coaches in so little time, but his role and minutes have been pretty damn consistent. He doesn’t have the benefit of this excuse Daye’s got, but the results are the same. We don’t know what to do with this kid, we don’t know what he is, and we’ve got some marginal decisions coming up. Personally, I’d just trade him at this point and see what we can get; let him be someone else’s problem. Not that $3 mil is going to kill our cap or anything, but the year after next it’s $4 mil (the last year of Gordon and Villanueva’s deals) and you may just be foolish enough to extend him just because you can’t stand to let him go.

  • Jan 5, 20129:58 pm
    by Max


    You guys are so reactionary.  Just because Wilkins gets more minutes on a given night on then Daye during the first 6 games of the season doesn’t mean the 2011/2012 chapter on Daye has been closed yet.  There is still plenty of time for the club to make a much more informed decision about him when his contract is due to be extended or passed on.  it’s just wholly negative prognostication on your part and the fact remains that Daye is a multifaceted player and Frank is not a system coach but one who can adjust to players.  Whether Damien Wilkins plays or not should not be looked at as a hindrance to Daye because Daye should be able to get minutes at three positions.  However, I don’t think he should be coddled as some seem to suggest because, for one thing, it may be his role throughout his career to contribute off the bench in a variety of ways like a much slimmer Lamar Odom say and as such, why what a consistency of minutes and role at his juncture do but ill prepare him for the role he is likely to actually have one day–unless you think he has already proven he is a starter,  Non-starters experience a fluctuation in role and minutes.  That’s the name of the game and if Daye is going to last in the league he had better learn it.

  • Jan 5, 201210:15 pm
    by Patrick Hayes


    “Just because Wilkins gets more minutes on a given night on then Daye during the first 6 games of the season doesn’t mean the 2011/2012 chapter on Daye has been closed yet.”

    Exactly, Max. Maybe he’s giving Daye a few games to sit and saying, ‘See how hard that guy plays? Make sure you do that next time I put you in a game.’

    I want Daye to play, to be honest. I think there’s a role for him in the NBA. It might just be spot-up, Jason Kapono-style 3-point specialist. The Pistons need to find out what, if anything, he is. But I don’t find it egregious that they bench him when he plays passive, bad basketball.

    Also, the two names I believe frankie has mentioned — Villanueva and Maxiell — as getting minutes despite sucking aren’t exactly great examples. Villanueva has played like six minutes total this season. Maxiell has actually had a couple decent showings, vs. Orlando and Indiana. Maxiell plays because he’s strong and at the very least can foul someone hard. That’s his role. He’s done a good job of that twice, a passable job once and a horrible job three times.

    Daye’s role is to score. He’s done a horrible job of that, with the exception of garbage time vs. Boston. As we saw last season with that little PF experiment, if Daye is not knocking down shots for you, there is very little else he can do to help you on the court. So simply giving him Maxiell’s minutes isn’t a solution.

    • Jan 6, 20128:15 am
      by Jakob Eich


      Specialists are made for contenders and not for lottery teams. Either Daye expands his game or he will have to go to Europe, I believe he could have a great success over here (Europe) with his skillset. He’s a tall and talented player who lacks athleticism and confidence. I see how lost he looks in the game and I can totally relate to that. He needs to find his rhythm. I would pick up the team option in a heartbeat, he has to much upside and how is it going to hurt our team? We aren’t competing anyway so why shouldn’t we try to develop our young players?

      • Jan 6, 201210:27 am
        by gmehl1977


        Ha ha did you just say ‘develop our young players’? You do know your talking about the detroit pistons right. Think about it…how many of our last well known draft picks have we actually developed:
        2003 – Carlos Delfino…nope
        2003 – Darko Milicic…nope (funny but he would actually be good next to Monroe) 
        2005 – Amir Johnson…sort of (would also be good next to Monroe)
        2005 – Jason Maxiell…eek (not much to develop)
        2007 – Arron Afflalo…sort of but let him go
        2007 – Rodney Stuckey…still developing supposedly
        2008 – DJ White…nope (bad draft choice) 
        2008 – Deron Washington…nope (bad draft choice)
        2009 – DaJuan Summers…nope
        2009 – Jonas Jerebko…yes
        2009 – Austin Daye…nope
        2010 – Greg Monroe…yes
        2011 – Kyle Singler…you wonder why he stay in europe
        2011 – Vernon Macklin…nope (so far)
        2011 – Brandon Knight…yes (so far)

        • Jan 6, 20121:43 pm
          by Jakob Eich


          That’s the point! We should develop them! I would love it if we still had Delfino, Milicic (what a bummer, he actually is an okay center now and we just never let him build confidence), Johnson, and Afflalo! All of those players were bad in a Pistons uniform, switched teams and came out to be okay basketball players. I believe Daye would flourish elsewhere if put in a different situation. He is in Detroit so we should try to create an environment in which he can play up to his potential. We need to develop the young players at some point. You know how rare it is to build a contender by acquiring veterans like earlier in the century. Known examples are … well, none. Boston and Miami already had a centerpiece, we don’t have a great who will get other great players to Detroit and the D does not have the pull-factor like NYC or LA which makes players swing by every now and then automatically. We only have the draft and the players we have. So our TOP PRIORITY should be to maximize the potential  (read trade value) we have on the team and start rebuilding. Joe Dumars should finally come out and utter the sentence “We are rebuilding, don’t expect too much”. It’s ludicrous what he has been doing!

  • Jan 6, 20125:33 am
    by Gregoire


    Of course it isn´t a solution…Daye simply isn´t a Power Forward…he even has trouble to guard Small Forwards because they are to strong for him, thats why the Lamar Odom comparison is Bullshit…he may get Stronger but I doubt it…he has put up 10 Pounds during his first Offseason just to loose 5 this Offseason…of course he should get Playing Time ahead of Wilkins and I am sure he will!

    • Jan 6, 20127:58 am
      by gmehl1977


      I actually think if Daye can’t get his weight and add strength similar to Tay then he will find himself out of the league. All Daye’s problems resort back to the same thing… strength. I am not blaming Daye cause he cannot keep on the weight because if Kander cannot get him to then maybe the Daye experiment should end. Tay is a perfect example of a wiry guy that doesn’t have to stack on the pounds to hold his own in the NBA. Tay is stronger than he looks and i thought Daye would be modelling himself on him. I do have a theory about Daye and his so called form slump. I truly believe that he didn’t think Joe was gonna bring Tay back and the starting SF position (or at least good minutes at SF) were his. If this is true and then the fact that Wilkins was brought in might of made Daye think Joe has no confidence in him whatsoever. There is no reason Daye should not beat out Wilkins but i could understand if he was disappointed when Prince was resigned. I personally think all of the above should fuel him to win playing time but i guess not everyone has the desire to prove there doubters  wrong. Maybe Daye should listen to some of Will Bynum’s stories about his path to the NBA. I really hope Daye pans out for pistons and i don’t doubt his talent but i really think his drive and will to succeed combined with his fluctuating weight issues wont let him. Here’s hoping i am wrong.

  • Jan 6, 20128:33 am
    by Jakob Eich


    Why is everybody so obsessed with CV’s ability to hit threes??? He’s overrated, simple as that! He scores efficiently and does nothing else. I don’t blame him for coming to Detroit and taking the money, that’s Dumars fault. Villanueva has trade value BUT if he isn’t playing on a lottery team without Big Men we are only going to get another 2nd rounder like we did for Delfino or Afflalo! 
    I don’t know about Frank’s and Dumars’ plan, we can certainly not afford to have such a player sitting on the bench. Either trade him or amnesty him or do something. Dumars has given out bad contracts and doesn’t act on it. It’s frustrating to see!! Villanueva is a player with obvious weaknesses that either have to be covered by his teammates or we live with them and let him play. I’m also sick of watching Maxey running around overweight. Jason doesn’t have any lift anymore! He’s shooting 47% from the field and takes 55% of his shots from close, it just doesn’t cut it. Don’t tell me Villanueva couldn’t play better than that.
    Granted, CV played horribly against the Bulls, I believe he is fed up. It’s not a nice situation to be put in when the game is essentially over. I’d give him some minutes and see how he does. Then again, I don’t see him during practices and how he behaves himself. Maybe Frank has a plan for him and I just don’t see it yet!

  • Jan 6, 20121:57 pm
    by Max


    Wow, a call for Charlie V to play!  So very unexpected……….
    As for the list of which rookies have been developed above; you admitted three young players are currently being developed which is a lot of young players at the same time in my view and disproves your point.   The older young players who were here in the past were lower draft picks trying to earn minutes on a deep contending team so the history isn’t really all that relevant to the present either.

    • Jan 6, 20124:52 pm
      by Jakob Eich


      You can keep your sarcasm to yourself Max. Other contenders work in low draft picks as well. Boston worked in Rajon Rondo, Miami works in Norris Cole right now. Detroit didn’t do that at all and now pays the bill. Just because you are contending does not mean you need to have old guys only. Did we have  to trade Chauncey for AI if Stuckey was supposed to be his replacement and we still had Rip. It was considered a bold move at the time, but it was merely a stupid and hurried move by Joe. We probably could have gotten some young talent in return or a decent big man, instead we got a player we never really needed and have up our best player who still had A LOT left in the tank. My point is, the players we gave up along the way would make a better team than what we have now! A starting five of Chauncey, Afflalo, DJ White, Jerebko, and Monroe (if we had still gotten him anyway) would make a good team!

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